Queer TikToker living with HIV hated for sharing his story

After queer TikToker Zachary Willmore announced he was diagnosed with HIV, he received a surge of support on TikTok and Twitter, despite viral homophobic tweets about his diagnosis.

On February 17, Willmore recorded a TikTok video saying he had been diagnosed with HIV. He posted the video about a week later.

“I worry that people will see me as untouchable,” Willmore, 19, says in his video. “It honestly feels like the end of the world to me.”

Many know Willmore as the teenager who made headlines for becoming the first male student to be crowned Homecoming Queen at his Missouri high school. A year and a half later, Willmore has almost 2 million followers on TikTok, where he now publishes his “video diary” about living with HIV.

The TikToker did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment.

@zachwillmore Day 1 of my video diary #hiv #gay #viral #diary ♬ Original sound – ★ Star Boy ★

Many commenters on Willmore’s announcement of his HIV diagnosis expressed support and admiration for his outspokenness.

“The oldest living person with HIV has turned 100! You’re not gross or untouchable and I send you so much love,” commented queer TikToker Jory (@alluringskull).

“You’re so awesome for posting this,” Asher wrote (@stinkyasher).

There continued to be positive comments on Willmore’s subsequent videos, including his vlog, Day 5 of Living with HIV, which was released on February 28. However, Willmore’s video, showing him spending time with his mother and explaining his HIV viral load, has garnered some hate on Twitter.

in one tweet Posted on March 6th, @slatzism wrote, “You were born too late to explore the earth, too early to explore the stars, but just in time to see zoomers vlog their HIV diagnosis.” On the day previously @slatzism also tweeted about Willmore with a reference to the Bible.

“Sodom and Gomorrah was a warning, not an instruction manual,” @slatzism tweeted. (The user did not respond to Daily Dot’s request for comment.)

In response, @slatzism’s tweets received thousands of quote tweets and replies, many of which defended Willmore — and indicated that Willmore’s openness about his diagnosis is important.

“Imagine pressuring someone who has access to PrEP to tell others that an HIV diagnosis is something manageable,” @877kashnow tweeted. “Grow up when strange joy excites you in the face of an epidemic.”

“People died and fought [sic] so that person can speak up and end the stigma,” @BradLee918 tweeted. “Just because you don’t like it doesn’t make it wrong.”

“When I first got sick I had a discussion with one of the hospital staff about stigma and they finally told me they had no evidence of HIV but speaking openly about it could put their job at risk,” @othergaystoner tweeted. “I’m glad people are starting to do stupid TikToks about it.”

Since the start of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s, more than 40 million people have died from AIDS-related diseases, according to UNAIDS. As of 2021, nearly 40 million people were living with HIV – 75% of whom had access to treatment, including antiretroviral therapy.


We crawl the web so you don’t have to.

Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the web delivered to your inbox every day.

*Initial publication: March 9, 2023 at 5:20 p.m. CST

Tricia Crimmins

Tricia Crimmins is the IRL Editor at the Daily Dot. She is also a New York-based comedian and an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She has previously written for Mashable, Complex Networks and Moment magazine. She can be found on Twitter at @TriciaCrimmins.

Tricia Crimmins

https://www.dailydot.com/irl/zachary-willmore-hiv/ Queer TikToker living with HIV hated for sharing his story

Jaclyn Diaz

InternetCloning is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@internetcloning.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button